122 Marlborough was built in 1868 by Ivory Harmon, mason and builder, for Charles William Freeland, one of eleven contiguous houses (110-130 Marlborough) built for speculative sale on a parcel with a 198 foot frontage. Charles Freeland was a merchant, cotton manufacturer, and real estate developer. He and his wife, Sarah Ward (Harrington) Freeland, lived at 117 Beacon.
The eleven houses are arranged in a symmetrical composition, with two houses at each end of the group (110-112 Marlborough and 128-130 Marlborough) on 19 foot wide lots with bays which carry into the mansard roof, two pairs of intermediate houses (114-116 Marlborough and 124-126 Marlborough) on 17 foot 8 inch lots with oriel windows, and a central grouping of three houses (118-120-122 Marlborough), with 118 Marlborough and 122 Marlborough on 17 foot 8 inch lots and 120 Marlborough on a 16 foot lot.
Click here for a composite image of 110-130 Marlborough illustrating the symmetrical composition, assembled from several photographs taken in March of 2013.
The land for 110-130 Marlborough was sold by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at its public auction on April 9, 1863, as six 25 foot lots and two 24 foot lots. Dwight Foster, an attorney, was the successful bidder for five of the 25 foot lots, and Dr. John Cauldwell Foster, a physician, was the successful bidder for the sixth 25 foot lot and the two 24 foot lots. Charles Freeland subsequently acquired their rights to purchase the land and, on March 28, 1868, the Boston Daily Advertiser reported that he had begun construction of the eleven houses. He purchased and took title to the land from the Commonwealth on October 26, 1868, as they were approaching completion.
Click here for an index to the deeds for 122 Marlborough, and click here for further information about the land between the south side of Marlborough and Alley 424, from Clarendon to Dartmouth.
In August of 1868, while the houses were under construction, Charles Freeland offered them for sale as a group. An August 10, 1868, advertisement in the Boston Traveller by real estate dealer John Jeffries, Jr., described them as “a block of 11 houses now being erected on Marlborough street. These houses are to be built in the most thorough manner, under the supervision of Mr. Ivory Harmon. They vary in size and price, and are intended to meet the present demand for medium-priced houses in a good locality. The horse cars are to pass within one hundred feet.”
On October 1, 1869, 122 Marlborough was purchased from Charles Freeland by lace and embroidery dealer Andrew Carrico Mudge. He and his wife, Cornelia Adelaide (Hawkes) Mudge, made it their home. They previously had lived in Brookline. They continued to live at 122 Marlborough in 1872. By 1873, they had moved to the Parker House.
On March 18, 1873, 122 Marlborough was purchased from Andrew Mudge by Helen (Beal) Little, the wife of John Mason Little. They previously had lived at 2 Commonwealth with his parents, James Lovell Little and Julia Augusta (Cook) Little.
John Mason Little was a wholesale dry goods merchant in his father’s firm. After his father’s death in June of 1889, he served as trustee for the family estate (held in the Pelham Trust) and, in 1917, constructed the Little Building at the corner of Boylston and Tremont, a 12-story office building on the site of the Hotel Pelham.
John and Helen Little continued to live at 122 Marlborough during the 1878-1879 winter season, but moved thereafter to 317 Dartmouth.
On October 18, 1879, 122 Marlborough was acquired from Helen Little by her father-in-law, James L. Little.
By the 1879-1880 winter season, 122 Marlborough was the home of East India shipping merchant Stanton Whitney and his wife, Alice Rebecca (Sutton) Whitney. They previously had lived at 6 Newbury. They also maintained a home in Beverly. He died in September of 1880, Alice Whitney continued to live at 122 Marlborough during the 1881-1882 winter season, but moved thereafter.
By the 1882-1883 winter season, it was the home of Edward Wheaton and his wife, Charlotte Rhodes (Knight) Wheaton. They previously had lived at the Parker House. He was a railroad contractor. They continued to live at 122 Marlborough during the 1883-1884 season, but moved thereafter to Providence.
By the 1884-1885 winter season, 122 Marlborough was the home and medical office of Dr. George Horton Tilden, a physician specializing in dermatology. He previously had lived at 127 Boylston.
During the 1887-1888 winter season, William Hooper, treasurer of the Atlantic Cotton Mills, also was living at 122 Marlborough. He was a widower and probably previously had lived in Lawrence, where his wife, Louise (Stoughton) Hooper, had died in February of 1886. By the 1888-1889 season, he had moved to 276 Beacon to live with his mother, Adeline Denny (Ropley) Hooper, the widow of Robert Chamblet Hooper.
By the 1888-1889 winter season, Dr. Tilden had been joined at 122 Marlborough by Charles Wilkins Sturgis and Francis Shaw Sturgis, brothers. Charles Sturgis was a clerk at the US Subtreasury, and Francis Shaw Sturgis was an artist. They previously had lived at 70 St. James.
George Tilden and Charles and Francis Sturgis continued to live at 122 Marlborough during the 1890-1891 winter season. George Tilden then went to Japan, where he lived for several years; the Sturgis brothers moved to 373 Boylston.
By the 1891-1892 winter season, 122 Marlborough was the home of Dr. Samuel Breck, a physician, and his wife, Louisa Maria (Eddy) Breck. They previously had lived at 150 Commonwealth. He also maintained his medical offices at 122 Marlborough, as he had previously at 150 Commonwealth.
The Brecks continued to live at 122 Marlborough in 1893. By 1894, they had moved to 171 Bellevue in Roxbury and he had moved his offices to 172 Commonwealth.
By the 1893-1894 winter season, 122 Marlborough was the home and medical office of Dr. Fred Bates Lund, a physician and surgeon, and his wife, Zoe Meriam (Griffing) Lund. They had married in May of 1893 and 122 Marlborough probably was their first home together. They also maintained a home in Scituate. They continued to live at 122 Marlborough until 1899, when they moved to 529 Beacon.
On January 1, 1900, the estate of James L. Little transferred 122 Marlborough to the trustees under the will of his daughter, Grace Atkinson (Little) Ellis Oliver, the widow of John Harvard Ellis and former wife of Dr. Joseph Pearson Oliver. An author and biographer, she had died in May of 1899.
During the 1901-1902 winter season, 122 Marlborough was the home of Josiah French Hill and his wife, Blanche Theodora (Ford) Hill.
Josiah Hill formerly was Secretary of the Southern Railroad in New York City. In 1900, they moved to Boston and he joined the investment banking firm of Lee, Higginson and Company, first as a statistician and later as manager.
By 1903, they had moved to 194 Marlborough.
By the 1902-1903 winter season, 122 Marlborough was the home of stockbroker Chester L. Dane and his wife, Grace (Oliver) Dane. They had married in April of 1902 and 122 Marlborough probably was their first home together. They continued to live there during the 1904-1905 season, but moved thereafter to 322 Beacon.
On May 1, 1905, 122 Marlborough was purchased from the estate of Grace Oliver by Edna (Ellis) Learned Bates, the wife of Edward Carrington Bates, a mechanical engineer and inventor.
Edward Bates died in July of 1918. Edna Bates continued to live at 122 Marlborough and in August of 1919 married again, to Armistead Keith Baylor, and electrical engineer and executive with General Electric. After their marriage, they moved to New York City.
On June 24, 1920, 122 Marlborough was acquired from Edna (Ellis) Bates Baylor by Mary Isabelle (Temple) Priest Mead, the wife of Dr. Louis Guy Mead, a physician. They previously had lived in an apartment at 259 Beacon.
Living with them were Mary Mead’s children by her first marriage, to Benjamin Sidney Priest: Emily Priest and George Temple Priest.
Emily Priest married in June of 1928 to Dr. Charles Fremont McKhann, Jr., a physician and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. They moved to Brookline.
Louis Mead died in June of 1930, and Mary Mead died in December of 1931.
In April of 1932, George Priest, a salesman, married Alice Sykes. They made 122 Marlborough their home during the 1932-1933 winter season and then moved to Framingham.
Emily (Priest) McKhann had died in 1932, and in September of 1933, Charles McKhann married again, to Dr. Helen Semenenko, also a physician. They lived at 122 Marlborough during the 1934-1935 winter season, but moved soon thereafter to Milton. Dr. McKhann maintained his office at Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Semenenko maintained her office at 122 Marlborough.
On September 9, 1935, the Suffolk Savings Bank for Seamen and Others foreclosed on its mortgage to Louis and Mary Mead and took possession of 122 Marlborough. In December of 1935, it applied for (and subsequently received) permission to convert the property from a single-family dwelling into five apartments.
On May 29, 1940, 122 Marlborough was purchased from the Suffolk Savings Bank by Miss Beatrice Antonetta Bortone, one of eight Back Bay properties she acquired from the bank at the same time. She was a bookkeeper with Leopold Morse & Co., wholesale and retail clothiers. She lived in Wayland with her parents, Anthony C. Bortone and Maria (Larocca) Bortone. She married in 1946 to Albert DeStefano. After their marriage, they lived in Newton.
On March 6, 1958, 122 Marlborough and several other properties were acquired from Overton Ogilvie by Charles M. Rhodes. Five days later, the properties were acquired from him by real estate dealer and future hotel owner Isaac M. Saunders and his sons, Roger A. Saunders and Donald L. Saunders.
On June 19, 1959, 122 Marlborough was purchased from the Saunderses by Miss Mazie Elfreda Hodge, a secretary, who lived in one of the apartments. She previously had lived at 11 Melrose. She continued to live at 122 Marlborough in the 1980s, and probably until her death in April of 1987.
On May 16, 1988, 122 Marlborough was purchased from the estate of Mazie Hodge by J. Stephen Cohen, trustee of the 122 Marlborough Street Realty Trust,
On July 3, 1991, 122 Marlborough was purchased from J. Stephen Cohen by Mary H. Myers, In October of 1991, she filed for (and subsequently received) permission to remodel the house and change its occupancy from five apartments back to a single-family dwelling.
It remained a single-family dwelling in 2020.